Saturday, 7 April 2012

Bahraini Hunger Striker Khawaja Faces Death Amid International Silence

Local Editor

Bahrainis took to the streets Friday protesting the regime’s policies and demanding the freedom of the political detainees, specifically rights activist Abdul Hadi Khawaja who is facing death due to the serious deterioration in his state of health.

Massive demonstrations under the name of Khawaja took place in various Bahraini regions. One of them was in A’ali Roundabout in the Bahraini city of Salmabad, which included political figures like Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman who stated that Khawaja’s health state is like a “time bomb”.

Other protests took place in Nuwaidrat, Karzakan, Sanabes, Jidd Hafs, and other cities, facing strong oppression by the security forces.

Khawaja has been on a food strike for almost two months now, and observers announced that he is approaching death.

His lawyer Mohammad Al-Jashi stated that Khawaja was moved to a military hospital where he was fed through his veins after his blood pressure dropped.

The Bahraini Information Affairs Authority stated earlier that Khawaja has lost 10 kilo grams, and that his daughter Zeinab was arrested on Thursday while joining a protest near the Interior Ministry.

For his part, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Khalifa settled for criticizing Khawaja’s hunger strike, and wondered on his account on Twitter about the religious legitimacy of “self-starvation”.

Abdul Hadi Khawaja, who has been under arrest since the 8th of April, 2011, was reportedly tortured and physically violated during detention, which urged him to go on hunger strike to force an end to this treatment.

Head of the Clerics’ Council of Bahrain Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem criticized the Bahraini regime’s “oppressive” policy during his Friday speech.

“All this is taking place, the oppression and poisoning of people is intensifying, and Khawaja’s health is severely deteriorating, under the eyes of the Arab League which claims defending religion and rights, and America which claims supporting democracy and freedom in the world,” Sheikh Qassem said.

In parallel, Al-Wefaq Society sent urgent letters to the UN secretary general and other leaders, and called upon them to intervene to save the life of Khawaja.

Source: Al Manar TV
07-04-2012 - 12:58 Last updated 07-04-2012 - 13:01

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Our Appetites Are Stronger Than Our Conscience

Soumaya Saleh

We tend to engage vigorously in discourse about how we wouldn't sell our honour and dignity in alliance with the "Israeli" enemy for all the money in the world. This is only true in the sense that it takes much less than all the money in the world for us to be financially backing the "Israeli" economy, and aiding it to flourish.

Nestlé is the world's largest food and nutrition company in the world, with over 1.4 billion USD of revenue in the Middle East alone (2009). What, however, are the implications of such a small percentage of the company's global revenue on "Israel's" economy? Nestle owns 50.1% of the "Israeli" food company ‘Osem'. The repercussions of these food companies in the "Israeli" economy have been highly prosperous.

In 1998, "Israeli" Prime Minister Netanyahu awarded Peter Brabeck Letmathe, on behalf of Nestle, the Jubilee Award. This is the most prominent tribute awarded by the state of "Israel", in recognition of individuals and organisations that have contributed largely to the consolidation of the "Israeli" economy.

When asked about its investments in "Israel", Nestlé explained to that "As with most countries around the world Nestle products are available in "Israel"." No further information was provided, nor were we notified of the shares Nestlé has, or the programs it funds, but the nature of the enquiry was questioned.

Nestle owns a large array of brands, few of which include KIT KAT, QUALITY STREET, NIDO, CERELAC, NESCAFÉ, COFFEE MATE, MAGGI, NESTLÉ PURE LIFE, NESTLÉ FITNESS, and NAN.

Thus while one is indulging in the food products provided around the world by Nestlé, "Israel" indulges in the economic growth provided as a repercussion of our consumption. With such a large proportion of the "Israeli" economy invested in military and arms, one is then made to question how many innocent Palestinian civilians have suffered on account of satisfying our appetites.


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Syria Sends Letters to UN, Demands Regional, Int’l Sides to Stop Inciting

Local Editor

Syria sent on Friday two letters to the president of the UN Security Council and the UN secretary general about the crimes committed by armed groups backed by Arab and Western countries, SANA reported Saturday.

According to the Syrian News Agency, the letters stated that "the terrorist acts committed by the armed terrorist groups in Syria have increased during the last few days, particularly after reaching an understanding on Kofi Annan's plan.”

“In addition to the bombings whose preliminary evidence revealed the involvement of Al-Qaeda members… instigation was escalated by some sides that claim they care for Syria and for the success of the UN Special Envoy's mission, while at the same time they act in contrary to Annan's plan and the return of security and stability to Syria,” the letters added.

They further referred to the “unprecedented media instigation” and to the latest meetings on Syria, pointing out that the latter aimed at “shedding more Syrian blood, as some of them announced establishing funds to finance and arm groups committing crimes.”

Moreover, the Syrian letters to the international officials noted that “Syria had provided the Arab monitors' mission and the UN with documents that prove the crimes perpetrated by the armed terrorist groups against civilians and law-enforcement forces in Syria and their countless attacks on private and public properties and infrastructures which have left negative impact on the life of the Syrian citizens.”

After listing the number of martyrs which reached 2,088 among the army and 478 among the police, the Syrian government called upon “all states to assist it in preventing terrorist acts and implementing the international conventions related to terrorism.”

Source: Agencies

07-04-2012 - 10:32 Last updated 07-04-2012 - 10:32
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Reponse Letter to the Call for Disavowal for Gilad Atzmon

disavowal of Gilad AtzmonGreetings Mr. Abunimah and fellow signatories of your statement titled: ”Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon.”,

As someone who both respects and admires much of your work, it’s with disappointment and regret that I read this demand for Mr. Atzmon’s disavowal. It is acknowledged that the chief grounds upon which said call is predicated, involve allegations of anti-semitism and racism within his views. These charges are serious and require equally serious examination. Unfortunately, many of the premises therein comprised reductivism and misrepresentation of what are originally more complex accounts. This occludes truth and ends up offering a sideways engagement with the subject matter concerned. Via a few quoted words uprooted from context, very serious charges were made against Mr. Atzmon concerning racism, anti-semitism, as well as implied, (though, not substantiated) Holocaust denial. For a cursory yet a comparably more substantive engagement, the following URL provides adequate illustration:

Be that as it may, the aim here is to defend Mr. Atzmon’s full right to freedom of expression. Those who think this is intrinsic to total agreement with all his opinions, need read no further. In a democracy, all share the right to freedom of expression, and from what I understand, you claim to support democracy with equal rights for all, where all are welcome. To do so whilst publicly insisting unreservedly on the repudiation of Mr. Atzmon entails a basic contradiction. This is not plausible. To declare outright one’s dissociation from Atzmon’s opinions, is a legitimate move. To go beyond, making normative claims, stipulating who should disavow whom, trying to excommunicate a prolific musician and independent thinker, raises serious questions concerning one’s integrity of position.
This sort of offensive manoeuvre whereby you publicly prescribe his disavowal by others in the absence of carefully presented evidence, displaces you from equal human rights defenders into a camp that’s closer to the so-called democratic state against which you claim to be campaigning. Moreover, it betrays a sense of intolerance, something which has no place in any truly democratic and just world. A traditional chorus now includes: ”Gilad’s politics are very divisive.” Yet the divisiveness actualized seems to come from one side. If one genuinely takes issue with the substance of his claims and findings, then, the reasonable recourse is to support a free, open, and meaningful exchange with Mr. Atzmon.

If others wish to express their positions for or against Mr. Atzmon, they can easily do so via mechanisms democratically available to them, without need for your behests or calls. Human history has had more than its share of people telling others where their allegiances should lie.

There is no need for this kind of intra-activist conflict. It misses the mark, diverting much-needed attention from the original struggle, and gives Zionist opposition more grist for their mill.

The human species is in jeopardy and the Israel-Palestine conflict is just one of many that mark our dying planet. In taking this sort of action you subdivide into greater finitude and make this to be about you and Mr. Atzmon, when it’s not about either of you. It’s about the Palestinian struggle for restitution, and ultimately, the defense and upholding of truth and justice for every human being in the world.

Hopefully we can all move forward and waste no further time on such counterproductive distractions.

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by Adam Lavedan
Friday, April 6th, 2012

US-Israel War on Iran: The Myth of Limited Warfare

by James Petras

Washington and Tel Aviv claim and appear to believe that their planned assault on Iran will be a “limited war”, targeting limited objectives and lasting a few days or weeks – with no serious consequences.

The mounting threat of a US-Israeli military attack against Iran is based on several factors including: (1) the recent military history of both countries in the region, (2) public pronouncements by US and Israeli political leaders, (3) recent and on-going attacks on Lebanon and Syria, prominent allies of Iran, (4) armed attacks and assassinations of Iranian scientists and security officials by proxy and/or terrorist groups under US or Mossad control, (5) the failure of economic sanctions and diplomatic coercion, (6) escalating hysteria and extreme demands for Iran to end legal, civilian use-related uranium enrichment, (7) provocative military ‘exercises’ on Iran’s borders and war games designed for intimidation and a dress rehearsal for a preemptive attack, (8) powerful pro-war pressure groups in both Washington and Tel Aviv including the major Israeli political parties and the powerful AIPAC in the US, (9) and lastly the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (Obama’s Orwellian Emergency Decree, March 16, 2012).

The US propaganda war operates along two tracks: (1) the dominant message emphasizes the proximity of war and the willingness of the US to use force and violence. This message is directed at Iran and coincides with Israeli announcements of war preparations. (2) The second track targets the ‘liberal public’ with a handful of marginal ‘knowledgeable academics’ (or State Department progressives) playing down the war threat and arguing that reasonable policy makers in Tel Aviv and Washington are aware that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons or any capacity to produce them now or in the near future. The purpose of this liberal backpedaling is to confuse and undermine the majority public opinion, which is clearly opposed to more war preparations, and to derail the burgeoning anti-war movement.

Needless to say the pronouncements of the ‘rational’ warmongers use a ‘double discourse’ based on the facile dismissal of all the historical and empirical evidence to the contrary. When the US and Israel talk of war, prepare for war and engage in pre-war provocations – they intend to go to war – just as they did against Iraq in 2003. Under present international political and military conditions an attack on Iran, initially by Israel with US support, is extremely likely, even as world economic conditions should dictate otherwise and even as the negative strategic consequences will most likely reverberate throughout the world for decades to come.

US and Israeli Military Calculations on Iran’s Capability

American and Israeli strategic policy makers do not agree on the consequences of Iran’s retaliation against an attack. For their part, the Israeli leaders minimize Iran’s military capacity to attack and damage the Jewish state, which is their only consideration. They count on their distance, their anti-missile shield and protection from US air and naval forces in the Gulf to cover their sneak attack. On the other hand, US military strategists know the Iranians are capable of inflicting substantial casualties on US warships, which would have to attack Iranian coastal installations in order to support or protect the Israelis.

Israel intelligence is best known for its capacity to organize the assassination of individuals around the world: Mossad has organized successful overseas terrorists acts against Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese leaders. On the other hand Israeli intelligence has a very poor track record with regard to its estimates of major military and political undertakings.

They seriously underestimated the popular support, military strength and organizational capacity of Hezbollah during the 2006 war in Lebanon. Likewise, Israel intelligence misunderstood the strength and capacity of the Egyptian popular democratic movement as it rose up and overthrew Tel Aviv’s strategic regional ally, the Mubarak dictatorship. While Israeli leaders ‘feign paranoia’ – tossing clichés about ‘existential threats’– they are blinded by their narcissistic arrogance and racism, repeatedly underestimating the technical expertise and political sophistication of their Arab and regional Islamic foes. This is undoubtedly true in their facile dismissal of Iran’s capacity to retaliate against a planned Israeli air assault.

The US government has now overtly committed itself to supporting an Israeli assault on Iran when it is launched. More specifically, Washington claims it will come to Israel’s defense ‘unconditionally’ if it is “attacked”. How can Israel avoid being ‘attacked’ when its planes are raining bombs and missiles on Iranian installations, military defenses and support systems, not to mention Iranian cities, ports and strategic infrastructure? Moreover, given the Pentagon’s collaboration and coordinated intelligence systems with the Israel Defense Forces, its role in identifying targets, routes and incoming missiles, as well as integrated weapons and ordinance supply chains will be critical to an IDF attack. There is no way that the US can dissociate itself from the Jewish State’s war on Iran, once the attack has begun.

The Myths of ‘Limited War’: Geography

Washington and Tel Aviv claim and appear to believe that their planned assault on Iran will be a “limited war”, targeting limited objectives and lasting a few days or weeks – with no serious consequences.

We are told Israel’s brilliant generals have identified all the critical nuclear research facilities, which their surgical air strikes will eliminate without horrific collateral damage to the surrounding population. Once the alleged ‘nuclear weapons’ program is destroyed, all Israelis can resume their lives in full security knowing that another ‘existential’ threat has been eliminated. The Israeli notion of a war, limited in ‘time and space’, is absurd and dangerous – and underlines the arrogance, stupidity and racism of its authors.

To approach Iran’s nuclear facilities Israeli and US forces will confront well-equipped and defended bases, missile installations, maritime defenses and large-scale fortifications directed by the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian Armed Forces. Moreover, the defense systems protecting the nuclear facilities are linked by civilian highways, airfields, ports, and backed by a dual purpose (civilian-military) infrastructure, which includes oil refineries and a huge network of administrative offices. To ‘knock out’ the alleged nuclear sites will require expanding the geographic scope of the war. The scientific-technological capacity of the Iranian civilian nuclear program involves a wide swath of its research facilities, including universities, laboratories, manufacturing sites, and design centers. To destroy Iran’s civilian nuclear program would require Israel (and thus the US) to attack much more than research facilities or laboratories hidden under a remote mountain. It would require multiple, widespread assaults on targets throughout the country, in other words, a generalized war.

Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated that Iran will retaliate with a war of equivalence. Iran will match the breadth and scope of any attack with a corresponding counter-attack: ‘We will attack them at the same level as they attack us’. That means Iran will not confine its retaliation to merely trying to shoot down US and Israeli bombers in its airspace or launch missiles at offshore US warships in its waters but will take the war to equivalent targets in Israel and in US-occupied countries in and around the Gulf. Israel’s ‘limited war’ will become a generalized war extending throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Israel’s current delusional fetish about its elaborate missile defense system will be exposed as hundreds of high-powered missiles are launched from Teheran, Southern Lebanon and just beyond the Golan Heights.

The Myth of Limited War: Time Frame

Iran-Iraq War Montage.png
Clockwise from above: Iranian soldiers wearing gas masks to counter
Iraqi chemical weapons,
Iranian soldiers rejoicing after the liberation of Khorramshahr,
Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein meeting
in Baghdad to discuss US military aid to Iraq,
Iranian oil platform burning
after attack by US Navy in Operation Nimble Archer

Israeli military experts confidently expect to polish off their Iranian targets in a few days – some might think a mere weekend - and perhaps without the loss of even a single pilot. They expect the Jewish state will celebrate its brilliant victory in the streets of Tel Aviv and Washington. They are deluded by their own sense of superiority. Iran did not fight a brutal, decade-long war against the US-supplied Iraqi invaders and its western/Israeli military advisers, to just turn over and passively submit to a limited number of air and missile attacks by Israel.

Iran is a young, educated mobilized society, which can draw on millions of reservists from across the political, ethnic, gender, religious spectrum, galvanized in support of their nation under attack. In a war to defend the homeland all internal differences disappear to confront the unprovoked Israeli-US attack threatening their entire civilization – its 5000-year culture and traditions, as well as its modern scientific advances and institutions.

The first wave of US-Israeli attacks will lead to ferocious retaliation, which will not be confined to the original areas of conflict, nor are will any such act of Israeli aggression end when and if Iran’s nuclear research facilities are destroyed and some of its scientists, technicians and skilled workers killed. The war will continue in time and extend geographically.

Multiple Points of Conflict

Just as any US-Israeli attack on Iran will involve multiple targets, the Iranian military will also have a plethora of easily accessible strategic targets. Though it is difficult to predict exactly where and how Iran will retaliate, one thing is clear: The initial US-Israeli strike will not go unanswered.

Given Israeli-US supremacy in long and medium range sea and air power, Iran will probably rely on short-range objectives. These would include the highly valued US military facilities and supply routes in adjoining terrain (Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan) and Israeli targets with missiles launched from Southern Lebanon and possibly Syria. If a few Iranian long-range missiles escape the Jewish State’s much vaunted ‘anti-missile dome’, Israeli population centers may pay a heavy price for their leaders’ recklessness and arrogance.

The Iranian counter-strike will lead to an excalation by US-Israeli forces, extending and deepening their air and sea war to the entire Iranian national security system – military bases, ports, communication systems, command posts and government administrative centers – many in densely populated cities. Iran will counter by launching its greatest strategic asset: a coordinated ground attack involving the Revolutionary Guards together with their allies among the Iraqi Shia troops, against US forces in Iraq. It will coordinate attacks against US facilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the growing nationalist-Islamic armed resistance.

The initial conflict, centered on so-called military objectives (scientific research facilities), will spread rapidly to economic targets, or what US and Israeli military strategists refer to as “dual civilian-military” targets. This would include oil fields, highways, factories, communications networks, television stations, water treatment facilities, reservoirs, power stations and administrative offices, such as the Defense Ministry and headquarters of the Republican Guard. Iran, faced with imminent destruction of its entire economy and infrastructure (which occurred in neighboring Iraq with the unprovoked US invasion of 2003), would retaliate by blocking the Straits of Hormuz and sending short range missiles in the direction of the principle oil fields and refineries of the Gulf States including Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, a mere 10 minute distance, crippling the flow of oil to Europe, Asia and the United States and plunging the world economy into deep depression.

It should not be forgotten that the Iranians are probably more aware than anyone in the region of the total devastation suffered by Iraqis after the US invasion, which plunged that nation into total chaos and devastated its advanced infrastructure and civilian administrative apparatus, not to mention the systematic obliteration of its highly educated scientific and technical elite. The waves of Mossad-sponsored assassinations of Iranian scientists, academics and engineers are just a foretaste of what the Israelis have in mind for Iran’s outstanding scientists, intellectuals and highly skilled technical workers. Iranians should have no illusions about the Americans and Israelis who seek to thrust Iran into the brutal dark ages of Afghanistan and Iraq. They will have no more role in a devastated Iran than their counterparts had in post-Saddam Iraq.

According to US General Mathis, who commands all US forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia, ‘an Israeli first strike would be likely to have dire consequences across the region and for the United States there’ (NY Times, 3/19/12). General Mathis “dire cost” estimate only takes account of the US military losses, likely several hundred sailors on warships within missile distance of Iranian gunners.

However the most delusional and self-serving assessment of the outcome and consequences of an Israeli air attack on Iran, emanates from top Israeli leaders, academics and intelligence experts, who claim superior intelligence, superior defenses and supreme (if also racist) insight into the ‘Iranian mind’. Typical is Israeli Defense Minister Barak who boasts that any Iranian retaliation will at worst inflict minimal casualties on the Israeli population.

The ‘Judeo-centric’ view of re-ordering the balance of power in the region, which is prevalent in leading Israeli war circles, overlooks the likelihood that war will not be decided by Israeli air strikes and anti-missile defenses.

Iran’s missiles cannot be easily contained, especially if they arrive several hundred a minute from three directions, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and possibly from Iranian submarines. Secondly, the collapse of its oil imports will devastate Israel’s highly energy dependent economy. Thirdly, Israel’s principle allies, especially the US and the EU, will be severely strained as they are dragged into Israel’s war and find themselves defending the straits of Hormuz, their army garrisons in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their oil fields and military bases in the Gulf. Such a conflict could ignite the Shia majorities in Bahrain and in the strategic oil-rich provinces of Saudi Arabia. The generalized war will have a devastating effect on the price of oil and the world economy. It will provoke the fury of consumers and workers rage everywhere as factories close and powerful shocks throughout the fragile financial system result in a world depression.

Israel’s pathological ‘superiority complex’ results in its racist leaders consistently overestimating their own intellectual, technical and military capabilities, while underestimating the knowledge, capacity and courage of their regional, Islamic (in this case Iranian) adversaries. They ignore Iran’s proven capacity to sustain a prolonged, complex multi-front defensive war and to recover from an initial assault and develop appropriate modern weaponry to inflict severe damage on its attackers. And Iran will have the unconditional and active support of the world’s Muslim population, and perhaps the diplomatic backing of Russia and China, who will obviously view an attack on Iran as another dress rehearsal to contain their growing power.


War, especially an Israeli-US war against Iran is indissolubly linked to the asymmetrical US-Israeli relationship, which sidelines and censors any critical US military and political analysis. Because Israel’s Zionist power configuration in the US can now harness US military power in support of Israel’s drive for regional dominance, Israeli leaders and most of their military feel free to engage in the most outrageous military and destructive adventures, knowing full well that in the first and last instance they can rely on the US to support them with American blood and treasure. But after all of this grotesque servitude to a racist, isolated country, who will rescue the United States?

Who will prevent the sinking of its ships in the Gulf and the death and maiming of hundreds of its sailors and thousands of its soldiers? And where will the Israelis and US Zionists be when Iraq is overrun by elite Iranian troops and their Iraqi Shia allies and a generalized uprising occurs in Afghanistan?

The self-centered Israeli policy-makers overlook the likely collapse of the world oil supply as a result of their planned war against Iran. Do their Zionist agents in the US realize that as a result of dragging the US into Israel’s war, that the Iranian nation will be forced to set the Persian Gulf oilfields ablaze?

How cheap has it become to ‘buy a war’ in the US? For a mere few million dollars in campaign contributions to corrupt politicians, and through the deliberate penetration of Israel-First agents, academics and politicians into the war-making machinery of the US government, and through the moral cowardice and self-censorship of leading critics, writers and journalists who refuse to name Israel and its agents as the key decision makers in our country’s Mid East policy, we head directly toward a war far beyond any regional military conflagration and toward the collapse of the world economy and the brutal impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people North and South, East and West.

Iran/Israel locked in Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) deterrence status

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Gunter Grass Addresses Israel's Nuclear Threat

My PhotoWriter, poet, playwright, sculptor, artist, and Nobel laureate Grass is regarded as Germany's most celebrated author.

Awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature, the Swedish Academy said his "frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history."

It credited his first novel, "The Tin Drum," with restoring honor to German literature "after decades of linguistic and moral destruction."

It "comes to grips with the enormous task of reviewing contemporary history by recalling the disavowed and the forgotten: the victims, losers and lies that people wanted to forget because they had once believed in them."

Published in 1959, "The Tin Drum" became one of the most admired and revealing allegories of guilt and complicity. He once said he "believe(d) it....a good thing that a writer does not sit on the side of the victors." He also called Germany a psychologically damaged society.

His writings stirred controversy. He's done it again. On April 4, Haaretz headlined, "German Nobel laureate Guenter Grass' new poem: Nuclear Israel is a threat to world peace," saying:

Now age 84, his new poem "calls for Germany to cease supplying Israel with submarines (able to carry nuclear-armed missiles), and warns against an Israeli strike on Iran."

"Israel's nuclear potential has been stealthily growing for years," he said, with no international supervision. Fearing the worst, he added that "Germany could be responsible for a crime that can be foreseen."

Der Spiegel headlined, "Nobel Laureate Grass Attacks Israel in New Poem," saying:

"Germany's most famous living author....sparked outrage in Germany....with the publication of a poem, "What must be said," in which he sharply criticizes Israel's policies on Iran."

In response, Israel's Berlin Embassy responded as expected, saying:

"What must be said is that it is a European tradition to accuse the Jews before the Passover festival of ritual murder."

"Earlier, it was Christian children whose blood the Jews allegedly used to make their unleavened bread, but today it is the Iranian people that the Jewish state allegedly wants to annihilate. What also must be said is that Israel is the only state in the world whose right to exist is openly doubted."

"That was true on the day of its founding and it remains true today. We want to live in peace with our neighbors in the region. And we are not prepared to assume the role that Gunter Grass is trying to assign to us as part of the German people's efforts to come to terms with the past."

The hypocrisy and duplicity deserve no comment. They explain plenty on their own.

Germany's Central Council of Jews called the poem an "aggressive pamphlet of agitation."

Bundestag member Ruprecht Polenz said Grass "has difficulties whenever he comments on politics and is often wrong." His colleague Philipp Missfelder called the poem "tasteless, ahistorical, and demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the situation in the Middle East."

Prominent Jewish German writer Henryk Broder also attacked Grass, saying he "always had a problem with Jews, but it has never articulated it as clearly as he has in this 'poem,' "

He "always had a tendency toward megalomania, but this time he is completely nuts."

Grass was critical of Israel earlier. In a 2001 SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, he addressed the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, saying:

"Israel doesn't just need to clear out of the occupied areas. The appropriation of Palestinian territory and its Israeli settlements are also a criminal activity. That not only needs to be stopped -- it also needs to be reversed. Otherwise there will be no peace."

Then and now Grass performed a valuable service. His prominence gives his remarks special significance. They're featured worldwide. He touched the right nerve, the same one media scoundrels avoid. He got it right. Why else would he be assailed? He deserves praise, not condemnation.

Israel's occupation and settlements are illegal. Its open secret is it's nuclear armed and dangerous. Not only is its arsenal and delivery systems formidable, it threatens to use them preemptively against perceived threats.

In 1986, whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu exposed it. The London Times published dozens of photos and scientific documents he provided. A long-time Dimona nuclear technician, he had access to secret information.

"Hidden beneath the Negev desert, the factory has been producing nuclear atomic warheads for the last 20 years. Now it has almost certainly begun manufacturing thermo-nuclear weapons," with yields great enough to destroy entire cities.

Vanunu's documents were genuine. They proved conclusively that Israel possessed sophisticated technology enabling it "to build up a formidable nuclear arsenal."

According to Theodore Taylor, a world expert at the time:

"There should no longer be any doubt that Israel is, and for at least a decade has been, a fully-fledged nuclear weapons state....considerably more advanced than (earlier) indicated...."

Other top nuclear scientists agreed. Israel then and now is a world nuclear power. It has sophisticated technology and weapons. Estimates of its arsenal range from 200 - 400 warheads able to destroy entire cities.

For his courageous whistleblowing, Israel abducted him in Rome, secretly tried him, sentenced him to 18 years in prison, held him for years in punishing isolation, harasses him to this day, refuses him permission to leave the country, and denies him all rights.

That's the price of truth-telling in Israel. That's how rogue states operate, especially belligerent nuclear powered ones.

Translated, Grass wrote:

"Why I am silent, silent for too much time, how much is clear and we made it in war games, where, as survivors, we are just the footnotes."

"That is the claimed right to the formal preventive aggression which could erase the Iranian people dominated by a bouncer and moved to an organized jubilation, because in the area of his competence there is the construction of the atomic bomb."

"And then why do I avoid myself to call the other country with its name, where since years – even if secretly covered - there is an increasing nuclear power, without control, because unreachable by every inspection?"

"I feel the everybody silence on this state of affairs, which my silence is slave to, as an oppressive lie and an inhibition that presents punishment we don’t pay attention to; the verdict "anti-Semitism" is common."

"Now, since my country, from time to time touched by unique and exclusive crimes, obliged to justify itself, again for pure business aims - even if with fast tongue we call it 'reparation' - should deliver another submarine to Israel, with the specialty of addressing annihilating warheads where the existence of one atomic bomb is not proved but it wants evidence as a scarecrow, I say what must be said."

"Why did I stay silent until now? Because the thought about my origin, burdened by an unclearing stain, had avoiding to wait this fact like a truth declared by the State of Israel that I want to be connected to."

"Why did I say it only now, old and with the last ink: the nuclear power of Israel threat the world peace? Because it must be said what tomorrow will be too late; because - as Germans and with enough faults on the back - we might also become deliverers of a predictable crime, and no excuse would erase our complicity."

"And I admit: I won’t be silent because I had enough of the Western hypocrisy; Because I wish that many will want to get rid of the silence, exhorting the cause of a recognizable risk to the abdication, asking that a free and permanent control of the Israel atomic power and the Iran nuclear bases will be made by both the governments with an international supervision."

"Only in this way, Israelis, Palestinians, and everybody, all people living hostile face to face in that country occupied by the craziness, will have a way out, so us too."

A Final Comment

Nuclear armed and dangerous, Israel, like its Washington paymaster/partner, is a world menace. Others need to spread Grass' words before it's too late to matter.

He's a hero for explaining what everyone needs to know. There ought to be a Nobel award for that!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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Egypt's former spy chief to run for president

In case you missed it: With USA Changing the Horse - Egypt has second thoughts on Muslim Brotherhood.

A congressional delegation traveling in Egypt raised a few eyebrows Monday when it met with Khayrat el-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood ’s new presidential candidate in the country’s 2012 presidential race. A delegation from the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) began its first official visit to the United States on Monday April 2 for one week.....

They met  with working-level [national security staff].
But the USA never payed on one horse.

Today, "Muslim" Stupidhood got a painful slap on the ass.
The USA launched its real horse. 

The USA, used the "Muslim" Stupidhood to hijack and divide the "revoultion" thus paving the way for it real candidate, the angle of death. The USA used the other horse, Amr Musa, to pave the way for the "humanitarian intervention" in Libya.

I am not sure there would be elections, but if it happened, most likely he would be the winner, he would disove the Islamist's Parlament, and Smart Hairat may return to prison. The Ultimate Loser would be Hamas, betting on their stupid brothers, they lost Syria.  

"In the final days of January, Mubarak appointed Omar Suleiman to the office of Vice-President. One of the first steps taken by Suleiman since that appointment was to convey that, in addition to President Mubarak vowing to step aside as leader of Egypt, Mubarak’s son Gamal would not be appointed to the Presidency." 

Egypt's former spy chief to run for president

Published Friday, April 6, 2012

Add caption
Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman has decided to contest next month's presidential election, the official MENA news agency reported on Friday, two days after ruling himself out of the race.

His change of mind came after a group of demonstrators gathered in a Cairo district to urge Suleiman, who served as Hosni Mubarak's vice president before the strongman's overthrow last year, to run.

"I was very moved by your strong stand," Abdullah said in a statement carried by MENA.

"The call you issued today was an order, and I am a soldier who has never in my life disobeyed an order...I cannot but reply to the call and join the race despite the obstacles and difficulties," he said.
Inside Mubarak regime there is a fight between two wings
The first wing supports the inheritance of Gamal Moubarak, 
The other wing support Omar Suleiman
The former military man who took over as intelligence chief in 1991 vowed to "make every achieve the expected changes and complete the aims of the revolution, and live up to the hopes of the Egyptian people."

Suleiman had said on Wednesday that he would sit out the May 23-24 election because the nomination procedures were too tough.

"I tried until yesterday morning to overcome the obstacles related to the current situation and the administrative, financial and organizational demands of candidacy, but I found that was beyond my capability," he said.

Candidates bidding for the presidency need 30,000 signatures from people or the support of a party in parliament.

The military says it will hand power to the winner by the end of June. The front runners include Khairat el-Shater, a leader of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, and former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Mussa.

Many in Egypt regard Suleiman as having formed part of the inner circle of Mubarak, who shortly before his fall named the intelligence supremo as vice president.

Under Mubarak, Suleiman served as a negotiating partner for the United States, Israel and the Palestinians, orchestrating a series of short-lived truces.
(AFP, Al-Akhbar)
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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Critiquing Israel: colonialism or Jewish culture?

by Eric Walberg
Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Jesus' Broken Heart
Fighting the enemy at times means fighting your erstwhile comrades-in-arms ~ Eric Walberg 

The phenomenal success the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has had since it began in 2005 has attracted attention from all corners of the political spectrum — for better or for worse.

Israel is scared. Israeli thinktanks have described BDS as a greater threat to Israel than armed Palestinian resistance. At the same time, at the forefront of the movement against what is now widely called Israeli apartheid are Jews — Israeli and diaspora.

This is not surprising, as Jews have traditionally been active in “political mobilisation and opinion formation”, according to Benjamin Ginsberg.

So it should not be surprising if the BDS movement itself experiences turmoil. For several years now, the UK Palestinian Soldarity Committee (PSC) has conducted a policy of calling leading activists such as Paul Eisen, Gilad Atzmon and Israel Shamir — all Jewish — anti-Semitic for daring to point out that those who persecute Arab Muslims and Christians are not just Zionists but are invariably Jewish. That the Jews who have opted to take Israeli citizenship are increasingly racist, belligerent settlers who use their new identity to dispossess, terrorise and murder Palestinians, with the intent of forcing them to leave even the remaining 12 per cent of the land once called Palestine.

These Jews have given Judaism a bad name, causing some “good Jews” to critique their own religious heritage and even disown it, such as American highschooler and winner of the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr Writing Award Jesse Lieberfeld, who came to realise,
I was grouped with the racial supremacists… I was part of a delusion.”
For these Jews, Judaism today had been perverted by Zionism. Paying tribute to Jesse, ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon said,
Journeying from choseness is a life-struggle. From time to time you may feel lonely but you are never alone. Humanity and humanism are there at your side — for all time.”
Atzmon, born and bred in Israel, with holocaust victims in his family, is the latest victim of the UK PSC, which earlier ostracised Eisen for his Der Yassin Remembered group honouring martyred Palestinian Muslims and Christians of the 1948 Nakba, when thousands of Palestinians were killed and hundreds of thousands made permanent refugees.

After being ostracised, Eisen and Shamir dismissed the “gatekeepers” in the movement, and carried on with their analysis and organising from the sidelines, sidelines which are growing just as fast as, if not faster than the mainstream and are now firmly centred on popularising a one-state solution to solve the Palestine-Israel problem.

Atzmon continued to lock horns with the UK PSC establishment, hoping to change it, though it is dominated by the likes of Tony Greenstein with his J-Big (Jews boycotting Israeli goods). No doubt Atzmon’s Sabra heritage steeled him for battle with those supporters of the Palestinians who see the movement as more a way to fight anti-Jewish sentiment (caused by Zionism) than to actually achieve victory for the Palestinians. He decided to write an analysis of his Jewish heritage and how it was transformed over the past century entitled The Wandering Who? (see Al-Ahram Weekly “Jezebel’s Legacy”). His book became a bestseller and he has been touring America and Europe regularly, speaking out bravely and making his a must read for all who care about both Palestine and “the plight of the Jews”.

Jewish intellectuals such as Ilan Pappe are following Atzmon’s footsteps and leaving Israel, disgusted with the cynicism and duplicity of the entire Israeli establishment. Atzmon has attracted many admirers — too many, it seems — from among the more mainstream critics of Israel. Richard Falk and John Mearsheimer — both Jewish — endorsed Atzmon’s book, Mearsheimer recommending that the book…
should be widely read by Jews and non-Jews alike”
On 13 March, near the end of Atzmon’s latest tour of the US speaking to pro-Palestinian groups, Electronic Intifada editor Ali Abunimah published a letter at the US Palestinian Community Network (PCN) signed by 23 Palestinian activists, including Columbia University professor Joseph Massad and Omar Barghouti, a founder of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Committee for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and author of Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (currently doing an MA in philosophy at Tel Aviv University).
The letter called for “the disavowal of the racism and anti-Semitism of Gilad Atzmon”. Abunimah effectively excommunicated Atzmon from participating in pro-Palestinian activities of the US PCN, as he was by the UK PSC. Atzmon wound up his tour the next day with an interview with (Jewish) history professor Norton Mezvinsky of Connecticut State University, at Washington’s Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, where he rebutted the charges against him.

But just as Muslims are loudly called on to disown Islamic terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, so must Jews disown their own Judaic terrorists, reasons Atzmon, who has been leading the way in this politically-incorrect battle. Now that the dust has settled, and support for Atzmon has poured in, the letter in retrospect looks like an exercise in hasbara gone wrong. Conspicuous in their absence among signatories are leading Israel critics Noam Chomsky, Norman Finklestein, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman, The Progressive’s Matt Rothschild, Tikkun’s Michael Lerner, OpEd’s Rob Kall, and US Congress hopeful Norman Solomon.

It is possible to critique Atzmon for downplaying the imperialism behind Israel’s founding and support, which Abunimah does:
Our struggle is with Zionism, a modern European settler colonial movement, similar to movements in many other parts of the world that aim to displace indigenous people and build new European societies on their lands.”
However, there is nothing wrong with critiquing the problem from a cultural point of view, and the guilty culture just happens to be Jewish. Sadly, there is more than one way to skin the Palestinian cat.
Shamir took the debate a logical step further by posing the question, “To disavow or debate Abunimah”. He was attacked by Abunimah a decade ago, when he “hunted me out of the pro-Palestinian movement, saying that without Shamir, they will win sooner.” After a decade of unrelenting Israeli crimes, Shamir advised Massad, Barghouti and other Arab signatories,
Our Arab brothers will do well if they will stand out of this debate: let the Jews fight out the battle for their identity. As it happens, Gilad is their strongest champion on the Jewish side, they should cheer, not discourage him.”
Perhaps what prompted the letter was fear that BDS was just not mainstream enough. This was the implication behind a dismissal of BDS by Finkelstein, who just a few weeks before the Abunimah screed, called BDS a “cult” and admonished Palestinians to limit their struggle to the “two-state solution”. While himself exposing the “cult” of the holocaust, calling it an “industry” used to promote Israel’s aggressive colonial agenda, Finkelstein disappointed many admirers by suggesting that BDSers are conspirators intent on wiping poor Israel off the tattered old colonial map. “What is the result? There’s no Israel!”

But ironically, Atzmon and Finkelstein are on the same side this time. They are both pro-Palestinian activists and believers in free speech and open debate, not afraid to point the finger at machinations of their co-religionists. Before writing his ill-fated missive, Abunimah, author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israel-Palestine Conflict, would have done well to ponder Atzmon’s defence of Finkelstein’s criticism of BDSers for their cultishness.
Finkelstein’s criticism of the solidarity movement is largely valid. The recent expulsion of Palestinians and academics from the UK PSC proves that we aren’t just dealing with a ‘cult’ discourse as Finkelstein suggests, far worse, we are actually dealing with a rabbinical operation that exercises the most repulsive Judaic excommunication tactics.”
“Finkelstein is correct when he suggests that the achievements of the solidarity ‘cult’ operations are pretty limited,” continues Atzmon. He looks beyond the gatewatched BDSers and the larger-than-life critics such as Chomsky, Finkelstein and himself — two-state or one — and predicts “that the solidarity movement is already a mass movement … that the Palestinians and the Arabs will liberate themselves.”

The Lobby is no doubt patting itself on the back, having through obvious pressure on prominent activists helped to weaken its foes for the nth time. This tactic is part of the age-old strategy by those in power of “divide and conquer”. Just as Britian and then the US and Israel have worked to divide up the Muslim world to weaken and control it — even mobilising “Islamic terrorists” (not to mention “Judaic terrorists”) in their schemes — so the domestic representatives of imperialism do the same on the homefront, manipulating soft anti-Zionists.

The tactic was used in the Cold War, using liberals and ex-Communists to isolate Communists from movements critical of imperialism. Now as then, it is necessary not to boycott each other, but to work together without responding to provocation. It is to be expected that the bad guys are going to infiltrate progressive movements and try to split them.

When Saudi Prince Faisal grilled Hamas Chief Khaled Meshaal about his alliance with Iran, the Hamas chief explained:
Yes, we have relations with Iran and will do so with whoever supports us. We are a resistance movement, open to the Arabs, to the Muslims and to all countries in the world, and we are not part of any agenda for regional forces.”
BDSers may have their differences, but the goal is the liberation of Palestine. Let a hundred flowers blossom.
Eric Walberg writes for Al-Ahram Weekly You can reach him at
His Postmodern Imperialism: Geopolitics and the Great Games is available at

Two faces of the Same Shekel: "Hey free Israel", "Hey anti-zionist zionist" ... "Our enemy and your enemy is one"

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The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!